Hilary Lofting, brother of Hugh Lofting (author of the Dr Doolittle books), was educated at St. Edmund's College, Ware (Herts.) and became a civil engineer. This profession gave him the opportunity to travel widely, especially in South America, and his experiences in, and knowledge of the Latin republics were drawn upon in his earliest stories. Much of this early work was written under the nom de plume of 'Francis Brien'; in later years he often wrote in collaboration with Margaret Fane.
Lofting wrote stories and critical articles for the Bulletin and the Sydney Mail.He also wrote the introduction to the 1929 unabridged edition of For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke. He was one of the few Australian writers (including Henry Handel Richardson and Alan Marshall) to gain a place in the annual collection of the best short stories in English edited by Edward J. O'Brien.